Robots Dispense Medication, Vending Machines Marijuana

Japan is the world’s leader in robotics, a moniker it seems to maintain by constantly topping its own ability to innovate gadgetry.

Panasonic Corporation leads the way with its new medical robot that dispenses drugs to patients. In this same vein, medical marijuana can now be dispensed from a vending machine, albeit pre-programmed membership cards must first be inserted into a reader to determine validity.

The robot “nurse” will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and according to Panasonic spokesman, Akira Kadota:

“This robot is the first in our robotics project. It sorts out injection drugs to patients, saving time for pharmacists. The robot does not look humanoid. It looks more like a cabinet with lots of small drawers.”

The way it works is rather simple. Pharmacists place drugs inside the robot, which stores medical data. Drugs for each patient are sorted out by the robot and then placed into the drawers bearing the names of the respective patients. The robot is expected to go on sale to Japanese hospitals next March. Later next year, it is expected that Panasonic will target American and European hospitals.

If this isn’t amazing enough, consider California’s medical marijuana vending machines, which allow patients to slip pre-programmed membership cards into a reader on the front of the machine. User identity is quickly established by placing an index finger on the glowing red sensor along with the amount of money left on their card and their monthly marijuana allotment.

This high-tech pot machine located at The Nutrition Health Center in Los Angeles has taken the word “convenience” to a completely different level of understanding. Brilliant in conception, this highly sophisticated machine was designed by a 29-year-old lawyer named Vincent Mehdizadeh. Visually, the machine is no beauty, but its security measures are astounding. The system is unique, relying on both a swipe card and a biometric finger scan.

Think of a regular vending machine and how it works. At the base of this one, where you would normally retrieve your soda or candy bar, lays a green box with a snap closure containing a business card for the center and the dope. It’s all legal and the marijuana can only be dispensed through the recommendation of a doctor. To make sure the system can’t be abused, he designer has installed a computer program that will only sync with the user’s swipe card.

Local authorities have no problems with this machine and others of its ilk, as medical marijuana use has been legal in California since 1996. There are hundreds of dispensaries throughout Los Angeles. The federal government, however, is a horse of another color as the saying goes. Marijuana use is illegal in the US by their standards, so time will tell on this technological phenomena.

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  1. Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

  2. munksterman says:

    Cool technology, but this doesn't make sense: "To make sure the system can’t be abused, he designer has installed a computer program that will only sync with the user’s swipe card."